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HIV/AIDS Vaccine To Begin Phase I Human Trials 329

An anonymous reader writes "An HIV/AIDS vaccine developed in Ontario has applied for Phase 1 human trials. Safety and immunogenicity studies of the vaccine, dubbed SAV001-H, have already been completed on animals. Phase 1 human trials will check the safety of the vaccine on HIV positive volunteers. Phase 2 will then test immunogenicity."
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HIV/AIDS Vaccine To Begin Phase I Human Trials

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  • by Starlon ( 1492461 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:29PM (#28562683)
    Not all of us conservative Christians are superstitious like you illustrate. Some of us even believe in evolution. Some of us don't mind gays getting married. People want to believe that the stereotype is real though, and you don't help the situation.
  • No Optimism on HIV (Score:3, Interesting)

    by reporter ( 666905 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:40PM (#28562905) Homepage
    I am not optimistic about this vaccine. HIV mutates at an astonishing rate, and I doubt that one brand of vaccine can prevent an infection.

    Right now, we in America -- of all places -- have a silent crisis: an HIV epidemic. Read the shocking article [] published recently by "The Washington Post". About 3% of the residents of the District of Columbia is infected with HIV. That percentage is roughly the percentage in Uganda and parts of Kenya.

    The only way to eradicate this virus is either (1) universal mandatory testing for all Americans and visitors to America (followed by tough enforcement of laws prohibiting unsafe behavior by those who are infected) or (2) a gene therapy that transfers the natural immunity enjoyed by a few Europeans to the American population. As for point #1, mandatory testing is taboo and would never be implemented. As for point #2, a small percentage of Europeans have a cellular mutation that prevents HIV infection.

  • No Cure? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:45PM (#28563003)
    What is the expected effect of giving the vaccine to HIV positive test subjects?
  • by TheMohel ( 143568 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:10PM (#28563473) Homepage

    Amen. The vaccine has showed animal immunogenicity, which is not a bad thing, but since the animals in question don't get AIDS from HIV, their immune systems don't react the same way that human ones do. Which means you need to proceed to human testing, and that takes a long time.

    Phase I trials are important, and announcing them is not a bad thing. And nobody particularly expects cures in the HIV-positive population, although circulating HIV may be interesting (if the virus can cause a practical immune response in subjects with HIV but who have fairly normal T4 counts and you can show reduced circulating viral load, you have an interesting data point for efficacy).

    My biggest problem with this kind of press release is that they don't include the details. I'd be interested in knowing why this vaccine is likely to work better than the last two hundred that have been tried, what the actual animal studies showed, and so on. Oh well. I'm not going to be waiting up this weekend to hear more. It will be a couple of years before we know whether this one works.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:37PM (#28563919)

    "Not all of us conservative Christians are superstitious like you illustrate...."

    Actually, I think you'll find that the definition of your religion REQUIRES superstitious belief.

  • by SlashDev ( 627697 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:59PM (#28564263) Homepage
    The Christian religion clearly states that the world and humans were Created and did not evolve before then, they may have evolved afterward, but not prior. Can you please clarify your position as a Christian who believes in Evolution?
  • by religious freak ( 1005821 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @05:02PM (#28564307)
    That's very evolved of us, and I do agree with the practice. However, I've got to admit a part of me does say "Why don't we give this vaccine to ten creeps on death row, throw them a few hookers and see what happens".

    We would have the answer so much quicker and in the end, if the vaccine turns out to be effective, we'll save so many more (important - yes, I said it) lives. Is it really moral to trade the lives of a few dozen creeps over hundreds of thousands of African lives to preserve OUR sense of humanity? Yeah... I guess so... I guess.
  • Re:Test on (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SlashDev ( 627697 ) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @05:03PM (#28564325) Homepage
    Actually drugs trials did take place on African people with AIDS without their knowledge. The would inject them with supposedly malaria drugs, along with other drugs. And test them a few months later...
  • by all_the_names_are_ta ( 957291 ) on Friday July 03, 2009 @01:59AM (#28568745)
    This is a bad idea not only because trialing things on death row inmates seems to be a cruel and unusual punishment but also because it creates a perverse incentive. Specifically, suppose that testing on prisoners provides a noteworthy improvement in development speed for this vaccine. There will then be the motivation to use this model again in the future (surely we should use these death row inmates to speed the development of a malaria vaccine, etc). If this keeps providing benefits there will then be a demand for death row inmates to provide a source of test candidates. If this seems far fetched, consider the example of China which (at least until recently) has likely been selling the organs of prisoners [] and has an unusually broad number of crimes for which the death sentence applies.
  • Re:Which is It? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by trifish ( 826353 ) on Friday July 03, 2009 @04:01AM (#28569249)

    Since when are personal attacks, based on unconfirmed accusations by a convicted fraud, attacks on people who just died, moderated as Funny? Mod this post into oblivion, if you are still human beings.

  • Re:Which is It? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Friday July 03, 2009 @04:53AM (#28569445)

    There is no "magic serum" that cures AIDS.

    Typical medical doctor behavior. In reality, you should say:

    I do not KNOW of a serum that cures AIDS YET.

    You know, you aren't god, despite you possibly thinking so. ^^
    You can not predict that it will never happen. You can not say if it's just you being uninformed.
    You can not know if humanity as a whole just does not know enough yet.
    And most likely, you are wrong with all three assumptions.

  • Re:Is this it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geoffspear ( 692508 ) on Friday July 03, 2009 @07:23AM (#28570095) Homepage
    Most of them are easily curable with antibiotics or not deadly. HPV is the other big deadly sexually-transmitted virus, and there are parents who refuse to get their daughters vaccinated for the same reason.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"